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Average daily COVID-19 cases dropped 42% last week in the state of Louisiana. A massive swing for a state that has resisted calls for a state-wide mask mandate for the last month.

Even though the science doesn't support blanket mask mandates any longer, many still seemed shocked when Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward would hold a press conference and didn't institute a mask mandate over the last 50 days. However, the Governor did put in mandates for State property and State employees, and offered cover for local municipalities to do the same. But ultimately the root of the shock some felt comes from the on-going COVID emergency the Governor keeps extending.

The Governor extended his COVID emergency powers in January, and they will last until February 16th. If he extends them again this month, they will carry past March 11th, which would be the 2-year mark since the emergency powers were first invoked.

Half of the country has been moving in the opposite direction though.

Last week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that her state will be the 25th in the nation to end their COVID emergencies. Her current emergency proclamation ends the same week as Governor Edwards' does.

Iowa's Governor said in a statement:

“We cannot continue to suspend duly enacted laws and treat COVID-19 as a public health emergency indefinitely...After two years, it’s no longer feasible or necessary. The flu and other infectious illnesses are part of our everyday lives, and coronavirus can be managed similarly.”

With the growing number of immunity in the state, through vaccination and prior infection, and the eroding of the efficacy of masks and vaccinations go when it comes to preventing infection, it may be time for Louisiana to lift their emergency powers. Many state's have had to consider the same circumstances Louisiana has, and moved to lift their emergency orders.

Now we wait. Will Louisiana see their emergency order have a 2nd birthday, or will the state get out before then?

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